New clients may be surprised to find out that therapy can be very different depending on who exactly the client is, i.e., an individual, a couple.
Working with a therapist, individually, is, by far, the most common form of counseling, with a relationship that is developed and nurtured between the therapist and the client. It is a sacred bond formed between two people, with a journey undertaken, and traveled together. Trust and communication are paramount to the process, and good fit between the two individuals, both therapist and client, is essential. During time, a healthy alignment will form, with the therapist helping to broaden the client’s own vision of self, their place in the community and in the world.
Couples Therapy is similar to individual therapy, as the actual relationship between the couple can be seen as the “client,” but it also differs from individual therapy as there are two very distinct persons participating in the process, as guided by the therapist. Indeed, the process can even be affected by the specific personality of the therapist, as well. While some therapists will combine individual and couples therapy, it is my practice to not do so, as I feel can lead to a conflict of interest, as, as noted above, in the individual therapy descriptor, there is already a bond and alliance between the therapist and one of the individuals seeking couples counseling. In an ideal situation, there should be three therapists for a couple; one for the couples therapy, and one each for each individual therapy process.